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Writer and expert /
This week the sun has finally decided to make an appearance and it seems that everyone is feeling so much better for it. Whether it’s making time for small talk or simply smiling as you enter the office, the sun undoubtedly encourages us to radiate positivity, but why? Is it simply a placebo effect or is it true that the sunshine benefits our health?
Although there are obviously necessary precautions we need to take when enjoying the sun (check out which SPF is right for you here), there’s a wealth of benefits that the sun has on both our physical and mental wellbeing.
Our natural body clock is responsive to light and darkness so the amount of daylight we’re exposed to directly impacts our physical, mental and behavioural changes.
Getting sunlight throughout the day is integral to helping you sleep at night, as it means that your body clock has the chance to properly sync itself. Make sure to open your curtains whilst you have your morning coffee, head for a run before work or simply get outside and get some sun on your lunch break, and ensure a more restful and consistent sleeping pattern.
This probably comes as no surprise, as you can notice the tangible impact that the sun has on your own mood. Everyone seems brighter, more relaxed and generally just happier in their day to day life.
This is because sunlight increases our serotonin levels, with studies proving that serotonin turnover is at its highest in the summer months. This is one way that the sunshine benefits our health even when it’s no longer shining, as our body’s stock up on Vitamin D which they then use throughout the autumn and winter. So if you want to be your happiest self, living your best life, get outside and soak up some rays!
Sunlight helps those with an overactive immune system and as such is an amazing remedy for those who suffer from auto-immune skin diseases (such as psoriasis). Our white blood cells have a huge impact on fighting diseases and these increase the more we’re exposed to the sun, so making sure you’re getting sufficient sun exposure can work wonders when it comes to combatting infection.
This is probably one of the most significant ways that sunshine benefits our health. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found that nitric oxide is released into the blood vessels the moment sunlight touches the skin, and this compound helps lower blood pressure.
This means that sunlight not only makes us feel better mentally, it can actually help prolong our lives.
If that’s not reason enough to get out and enjoy the sunshine, we don’t know what is!
By Nina Sarjolahti
By Emily Flinders